On Aug. 1 to Aug. 3, 2012, Luis Enrique Acevedo Muro M.D. attended a medical conference at the J.W. Marriott Hotel on Adams Street in downtown Chicago. While staying at the hotel, which was recently renovated and located at 151 W. Adams St., Dr. Acevedo was exposed to dangerous aerosolized water vapor from the hotel fountain, which was contaminated by Legionella bacteria. As a result, Dr. Acevedo, 80, contracted Legionnaires’ disease and was hospitalized at the University of Miami Hospital on Aug. 8, 2012 with fever, shortness of breath and hypoxia, which is a reduced blood flow with oxygen to the body.
Dr. Acevedo suffered from several pre-existing co-morbidities, including Stage 3 chronic kidney disease, coronary artery disease, diabetes and hyperlipedemia. Due to these serious medical conditions, Dr. Acevedo rapidly deteriorated, and he was transferred to the intensive care unit, but he subsequently became hypotensive, required intubation and then died on Aug. 14, 2012.
Dr. Acevedo was survived by his second wife and their daughter as well as four older daughters from his previous marriage. His family’s claim for medical expenses was $131,000. The hotel admitted liability and causation, but contested the damages.
The family of Dr. Acevedo contended that he would have lived a normal life expectancy of another 9.2 years, while the defendant argued that he would have lived only another 2-3 years due to his other serious illnesses. The hotel also maintained that the older daughters’ loss of society claims were insignificant because two of the daughters lived outside of the United States and the other two had not been as close to the doctor as his youngest daughter from the second marriage.
The second marriage daughter was a single mother and Dr. Acevedo served as a surrogate father to her minor son, his grandson.
The jury awarded $750,000 loss of society to his widow; $50,000 for loss of society to his youngest daughter and nothing for the loss of society to the four older daughters. The jury awarded $250,000 for grief and sorrow to the widow and $50,000 for grief and sorrow to each of his five daughters.
In addition, the jury awarded general expenses, lost income and loss of household services.
The jury’s verdict in total was $2,268,575. The Acevedo family was represented by Seth E. Miles and Andrew B. Yaffa, as well as Steven J. Seidman. The jury was asked to return a verdict of $12 million. There was no indication in the report of this case that there was an offer made by J.W. Marriott to resolve the case.
The Estate of Luis Enrique Acevedo Muro, deceased v. Marriott International, Inc., No. 13 C 6441 (U.S. District Court, Northern District of Illinois).
Kreisman Law Offices has been handling injury cases, wrongful death cases and nursing home abuse cases for individuals and families who have been harmed, injured or died as a result of the carelessness or negligence of a medical provider for more than 38 years in and around Chicago, Cook County and its surrounding areas, including Robbins, Alsip, Blue Island, Calumet Park, Riverdale, Berwyn, Forest Park, Maywood, Bellwood, Westchester, Chicago (Printer’s Row, Chinatown, Loyola Park, Little Italy, Lincoln Park, Garfield Park, Forest Glen, Englewood, Edison Park, Edgebrook), Lake Forest, Hinsdale, Highland Park and Geneva, Ill.
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